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Shona shines in the plumbing industry

/ Success Story
A SOUTH West TAFE taster day in year 10 inspired Shona McGuigan to take on the male-dominated world of plumbing.
Shona McGuigan on site

“I thought plumbing was just working with toilets and that’s it, but the taster day really opened my eyes and I love the variety in my work now,” she said.

Shona enrolled in the VET DSS plumbing course in year 11 while she was completing her year 12 studies at Mortlake College.

She then applied for a job at Critech Plumbing in Warrnambool where she was given a trial and then offered an apprenticeship.

Shona has just completed her second year of studies and is so happy with her career choice.

“I’m so glad I’ve chosen this path. I thought about nursing at one stage but I love plumbing – no two days are the same.

“I love that I get to work outside and I get to keep so active,” she said.

Shona said being a female in a male dominated industry had never been an issue and she encouraged more girls to get into the profession.

“Plumbing is definitely achievable for a girl willing to have a go. There’s more to plumbing than you first think so it’s definitely something more girls should look at,” she said.

She said her work had been extremely supportive and she even went out on jobs on her own now.

Shona has also excelled in her studies taking out the best VET DSS student and best first year apprentice awards at the South West TAFE Trades Awards nights.

“Those awards really helped to get my name out there and get a job. People really took me seriously after that,” she said.

Shona said her studies at South West TAFE had prepared her well for the workplace.

“The practical skills we have learnt have been great. There are real roof structures here and a three-storey set-up where you can practice your skills,” she said.

Shona has plans to complete her fourth year of studies but for now is happy to keep learning as much as she can every day.

Shona working at Critech Plumbing